Records show suspected serial killer Choi Shin Jong was charged with first-degree rape 8 years ago but the court gave him a deferred sentence on the grounds that he was regretting his act.
The identity of suspects in South Korea is usually not disclosed to the public before being found guilty, but on May 21, police decided to reveal the identity of the 31-year-old man who murdered 2 women from Jeonju and Busan as Choi Shin Jong. The suspect is known to be a former wrestler with a wife and one child. According to the North Jeolla Provincial Police Agency, Choi has admitted to killing two women on April 14 and 18.
Back in 2012, Choi Shin Jong was charged with first-degree rape by restraining and raping the victim under duress. The case showed that Choi strangled and raped the victim, and brandished a 20 cm (7.87") long knife to keep the victim under confinement for 6 hours. However, the record shows he was sentenced to serve 3 years in prison and given a deferred sentence of 5 years after settling the case with the victim. The court at the time also did not disclose Choi's identity as a sex offender on the grounds he was young and regretting his act.
In 2016, Choi appealed for a retrial based on the fact that the Korean Supreme court has ruled one of his charges being unconstitutionally harsh back in 2015. In 2017, he was finally sentenced to a deferred sentence of 4 years and 3 years in prison.
After the report went out, netizens are expressing concerns over the leniency of the court regarding sexual assaults. The police are further investing for additional charges as they found he could have been involved in more missing women cases. It is speculated he contacted more than 1000 women through a random stranger chat application.